STILLWATER, Oklahoma. – Former Oklahoma State Football Players Malcolm Rodriguez, Devin Harper and Christian Holmes were selected in the 2022 NFL Draft on Saturday, while Rodriguez was selected by the Detroit Lions with the 188th overall pick in the sixth round, Harper was selected by the Dallas Cowboys five picks later with the 193rd pick overall in the sixth round and Holmes was picked by the Washington Commanders with the 240th pick in the seventh round.
With these selections, Oklahoma State joined Georgia, Penn State and Ole Miss as the only collegiate teams with multiple linebackers selected in this year’s draft and became one of only 14 teams with at least three defensive players selected.
The trio became the 177th, 178th, and 179th draft picks in OSU football history and the 33rd, 34th, and 35th overall picks under coach. mike gundy. The group became the first trio of Cowboy defensemen to be chosen in a single draft since 1985, although a group of three were also drafted in 1998 with two in the main draft and a third in an extra draft.
The Rodriguez and Harper selections marked the first time a Cowboy linebacker has been drafted since Josh Furman, who played linebacker at OSU, was drafted as a defensive back in the seventh round of the 2015 draft by the Broncos of Denver. The last Cowboy to be drafted as a linebacker was Linc Harden, who was picked in the fourth round of the 1995 draft by Dallas. Holmes’ selection marks the second straight year a Cowboy cornerback has been drafted.
A native of Wagoner, Oklahoma, who spent five years at Stillwater, Rodriguez began his career as a lightly drafted high school athlete and went on to become one of the best defensive players to ever play at Oklahoma State.
During his senior season, he earned All-America honors from nearly every organization that frees a team to become the fourth All-America linebacker in school history. He was a three-time All-Big 12 and a two-time Academic All-Big 12 pick who finished his career as the fourth player in OSU history and the first since 1982 to record more than 400 career tackles. He was also voted team captain by his teammates in each of his last two seasons.
On top of that, his eight career forced fumbles were the fifth most in school history, his 48 career starts were tied for third most in school history, and his 60 games played, all played consecutively set a school record. . He also led the team in tackles in each of his last three seasons to become the third player in school history to do so.
When Rodriguez ended his career, he was among the leaders of all active FBS players in several career categories, including solo tackles (#3), total tackles (#5), solo per game (#10), defensive touchdowns (#12), forced fumbles (#13) and assisted tackles (#19).
Rodriguez is the 11th overall player in OSU and the third defensive player selected in Lions history, joining defensive backs Jack Jacobson in 1965 and Darrel Meisenheimer in 1951.
An athletic player from Knoxville, Tennessee, Harper spent six years in the Cowboy football program. He played mostly on special teams and in a reserve defensive role in his first five seasons, then had a breakthrough year in his first season as a full-time starter in 2021.
This past season, Harper was voted team captain by his teammates, finished as the team’s second-best tackler, led the team in 15 quarterback rushes to rank as the second-most total high for a season since it began to be followed in 1982 and obtained honorable prices. mention All-Big honors from the league’s head coaches.
He finished his career with 16 starts and 59 games played, with 216 tackles, 26.5 tackles for loss, 13.5 sacks, two interceptions, four pass breakups, 22 quarterback dispatches, two forced fumbles, two fumbles recovered, a blocked punt and two Academic All-Grand 12 team honors.
Harper is the fifth OSU player selected in Dallas Cowboys history and he joins Harden as the only two defensive players in the squad.
A transfer graduate from Missouri who played his final two seasons at Oklahoma State, Holmes also had a breakthrough year in 2021 in his first season as a full-time starter at OSU. He was an All-Big 12 pick by Coaches and The Associated Press and earned academic honors from all conferences.
He finished his FBS career with 60 games played, 27 starts, 30 pass breakups, and three interceptions between his time at OSU and Missouri.
Holmes is the ninth overall in OSU and the third defensive player picked in Washington Commanders history, joining Dexter Manley in 1981 and Jordan Brailford in 2019.
OSU has now had at least one player selected in 18 of the last 20 NFL Drafts and multiple players have been selected six of the last seven years.
Several other Cowboys on last year’s roster are expected to earn opportunities to compete for spots on NFL rosters in the coming days.